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Ivory Coast appoint Wilmots as manager

African football

Ivory Coast appoint Wilmots as manager

Belgian Marc Wilmots has been appointed to lead the Ivory Coast's bid to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, according to football authorities in Abidjan

JOHN THYS

AFP

Former Belgium manager Marc Wilmots has been appointed to lead the Ivory Coast's bid to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, according to the football authorities in Abidjan

Former Belgium coach Marc Wilmots has been appointed to lead Ivory Coast's World Cup qualifying bid, the country's football authorities said on Tuesday.

Wilmots' EURO 2016 disappointment

Wilmots, 48, is one of an elite band of players to have played at four World Cups, and also led Belgium into the 2014 World Cup during his stint as coach with them between 2012 and 2016. Wilmots left his role with the 'Red Devils' following a limp performance at Euro 2016; Belgium lost to Wales in the quarter-final stage, and rarely played with fluency befitting of their talented squad. He has since been replaced by ex-Everton manager Roberto Martínez.

One of Africa's big guns and a regular World Cup qualifier, Ivory Coast flopped badly at the defence of their continental title at African Cup of Nations in February. They crashed out in the first round, regressing to their reputation as perennial underachievers despite a talented pool of players.

Ivory Coast appoint Wilmots as managerWilfried Bony passes the Ghana team during the 2015 Cup of Nations.

Ivory Coast must win group to qualify for World Cup

Then coach, France's Michel Dussuyer, was sacked and replaced by a caretaker coach Ibrahim Kamara, who last week unveiled a vastly changed squad for two upcoming friendlies with Russia and Senegal.

The nation lead Africa zone Group C with four points from two games, ahead of Morocco and Gabon on two and Mali on one, and need to win the Group to make the cut for Russia 2018.

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